Arginine : Quick Notes On This Multi-faceted Amino Acid?

Arginine is an amino acid that has a diverse role of functions in the human body. Arginine can be consumed as basic Arginine and L-arginine, the difference between these two is minimal but it plays a part in the biological availability of the amino acid when consumed. The ‘L’ basically stands for levorotary (NOT lavatory, getting this muddled could be embarrassing) and determines the direction of polarisation for a particular amino acid (to the left, or anti-clockwise) (Meriam Webster, 2013).

Arginine is used to make compounds such as nitric oxide, creatine, glutamate and proline, and are key to improving blood flow to the muscles and brain. L-arginine has also been seen to stimulate the production of growth hormone making it useful in the acquisition of lean muscle mass. The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) also state that it may aid ones immune function, wound healing and removing excess ammonia from the body.

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Greenwood, M., Kalman, D, S., Antonio, J. (2008). Nutritional Supplements in Sports and Exercise. Supplements for strength and power athletes. NJ: Humana Press.

Meriam Webster, (2013). Levorotatory. Retrieved 25th November, 2013, from

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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